How to Buy the Right Integrated Condenser Tumble Dryer for Your Needs

An integrated condenser tumble dryer works by collecting water from clothing and transferring it to a built-in container. Once the container is full, you have to empty it. Integrated dryers are especially useful because users don’t have to go far to empty the container – they are in the kitchen. These types of dryers are more of the “middle of the road” in the appliance world.

What is an Integrated Condenser Tumble Dryer?

Integrated condenser tumble dryers go into built-in kitchens. Generally, they are hidden behind a cupboard door, keeping them hidden from view. It provides the kitchen with a more streamlined appearance.

This type of tumble dryer comes in two types, and each is installed differently.  They are:

  • Semi-Integrated. This tumble dryer sits within the cupboard unit hidden from view. You can put it behind a door, but the control panel located at the top may be visible. It helps users to quickly change programs and view how much time is left on the dry cycle.
  • Fully Integrated or Built-In. This type of dryer is more common. It sits within a kitchen unit, fully concealed by the outer door on a cupboard. It has a flat front. Please note that this type of dryer should never be freestanding; otherwise, it won’t be stable.

How Do They Work?

As mentioned, they work by collecting water from clothing which, in turn, collects in the container. They dry clothes using warm, damp air generated by the unit’s drum and removing water vapor, drying the clothes.

The vapor goes into the wastewater tank for removal. You can remove the water immediately when the cycle has finished or when the machine notifies you that it needs emptying.

People enjoy condenser tumble dryers for two reasons: their easy operation and because they can be placed anywhere within the home. The integrated models are usually placed in the kitchen.


They are relatively inexpensive to purchase, with the only detriment being emptying the container. You may also want to consider how much space you have available since it has to integrate into your kitchen. While this may be great for a large kitchen, it may not for a smaller one where every square inch of space is necessary.

The integrated condenser tumble dryer models tend to be focused more cosmetically. They tend to be condenser models or can be heat-pump as well. Due to their location, these are ideal models because they don’t require ventilation, and drainage is close by.

What to Consider

There are many factors to consider when purchasing this type of dryer. You need to consider available space, first and foremost. Energy efficiency is another factor, and then there are necessary features.


These dryers come in many sizes and may appear to be the same as the differences are subtle. Smaller dryers have a drum that is 3 kg (which fits 15 t-shirts) which are perfect for single people or couples. Larger tumble dryers have a 10 kg drum (which fits 55 t-shirts) and are ideal for larger households.

The size needs careful consideration. First, you want to be sure that it can fit within your kitchen properly. Second, if you have a dryer that is too big, then you may be wasting energy. One that is too small may not dry your daily clothing properly, or you will spend a great deal of time doing small loads of laundry.

It may simply not be practical.

Energy Costs

Previously, tumble dryers had a bad reputation when it came to cutting energy consumption costs. While line drying will always be the most energy-efficient method, it has its limitations, such as weather and slower dry time.

Tumble dryers are convenient and more flexible. You don’t have to plan to hang your laundry or quickly run outside should it rain. The dry time is quicker, and it may not drain your electricity quite as much as you might think.

Smaller dryers consume less energy, but as always, remain attentive to the energy star ratings. They will let you know whether the machine runs efficiently or not.

To find out how efficient they are, go through the technical specifications on the dryer to give you a rough idea of how much it will cost you in energy annually.

Find an Effective Condensation Unit

Find an Effective Condensation Unit

Your dryer should keep damp air inside the machine – not on the floor or inside the cupboards. If there is too much condensation, it not only ruins the spot where the dryer sits but the surrounding walls or cupboards, too. It can lead to warping and the eventual replacement.

No dryer should dampen cupboards, walls, or have mould surrounding it. If it does, then something is wrong with the unit.

Performance While Drying

There are differences in how well this dryer will dry your clothes. Worst case scenario, it won’t dry your fabrics completely, and you will need to line dry them to finish them or have to put them in the dryer again, and again, and again until they are fully dried. This process is especially horrible with heavy loads, such as towels, denim, comforters, or duvets.

Need Space Around the Dryer

Integrated condenser tumble dryers require space around the unit to work properly. They should not be completely boxed in tightly into a storage area.


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These are the items to inquire about and will factor into which model you end up purchasing. While they may seem minor, they are indeed important factors to consider.

  1. Control Panels. While they do come in many types, they are mostly digital displays. It should be easy to read, understand, and operate.
  2. Door. They do come in many varieties, but you should carefully inspect them. The door should be effortless to open and not stiff. Since this unit is concealed, a flat door may be highly desirable since it will require less depth.
  3. Lint Filter. The link filter is a very important feature of any dryer and needs to be emptied frequently. Most experts say you should remove the lint after every cycle to prevent a fire from occurring. Before making a purchase, examine the lint filter. It should be easy to remove (especially when concealed in a cupboard), easy to clean, and then re-install.
  4. Water Container. Make sure this feature is easy to remove and reinstall. The best types are easy to grip (as water can spill and make it difficult to hold) and empty. Examine where it is located. Some containers are known to be in unusual places. You want to ensure you have easy access to it.

Bonus features include built-in WiFi and an all-in-one program designed for a mixed load.


In addition to emptying the lint filter and the water container after each usage, condenser dryers require regular maintenance to operate efficiently. You will need to clean the heat exchanger every few months, and the sensor bars inside the drum may need wiped clean as well.


To clean the heat exchanger:

  1. Find the condenser. It tends to be at the front of the dryer behind the vented panel.
  2. Turn off the machine at the mains and let it cool completely before removing the condenser.
  3. Rinse the condenser in a strong flow of warm water. Ensure the lint/debris is off before you reinstall it into the unit.
  4. Allow the heat exchanger to air dry completely before putting it back into the machine.
  5. Examine your manual as to how often you need to clean the heat exchanger. Generally, it is every few months.

An integrated condenser tumble dryer has many benefits. The most obvious one is that you can place it anywhere. These dryers don’t require any ventilation as the moisture from the clothing is drawn directly into a container. The only thing these machines need is an electrical outlet to plug them into.

You can easily store this type of dryer in your kitchen. It conceals easily by placing it into a cupboard, pantry, or behind a door. These dryers are easy to hide from view, and they have the added benefit of having a sink nearby to drain the reservoir. They don’t require the person to hook up a hose just to drain the machine.

It allows you to streamline the look of your kitchen and is more convenient to access while doing laundry.

The only drawback may be kitchen size. Not all kitchens have the room to house this type of dryer. Before making a purchase, make sure to take the measurements of the cupboard or the place where you plan to locate the dryer. Make sure there is enough room on all sides to add a buffer of air around the machine.

Also, pay special attention to the depth. The dryer may have the correct height and width. However, if you can’t close the door to conceal it, it may be worthless to you.

In terms of energy efficiency, these dryers are middle of the road. They aren’t as efficient as the heat pump dryers but aren’t as bad as vented dryers.

As long as you do your research, you should be able to find a dryer to perfectly suit your needs!

Appliance Reviewer